In another vein entirely, escapism 1940s-style is the allure of Trixie Belden #1: The Secret of the Mansion and Trixie Belden
Gr 3-6-Originally published more than a half century ago (Random House), this second book in the Trixie Belden series shows its age, but that probably won't deter a new generation of fans. Trixie and her friend, poor-little-rich-girl Honey must track down Jim Frayne (from the first book), who has unknowingly inherited half a million dollars. This should free him from his abusive step-father. Honey also hopes Jim will become her new adopted brother. Along the way, however, they uncover other mysteries. Who is the family driving the red trailer? Why do they behave so strangely? Who is stealing and stripping trailers? What happened to the 11-year-old girl who ran away? Who stole the jewelry at the farm? Never fear-Trixie and Honey will solve it all, but not without putting themselves in deadly peril! Overheard conversations, suspicious barns, and a glint of metal in the distance all lead to a satisfying conclusion. Read by Ariadne Meyers, who creates different voices for each character, the story skips along at a brisk pace, taking young listeners back to the days of jerseys and dungarees. Realistic? Of course not. Parents will be appalled by the lack of supervision involved. Still, this is a fun mystery series with slightly younger characters than Nancy Drew that will still appeal to that same basic audience.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.